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Sherpa: Trouble on Everest - A Struggle for Dignity on the World's Highest Peak

The documentary sheds light on the Sherpas' struggles on the world's highest peak amidst escalating tensions with foreign climbers.

Keywords: Sherpa, Mount Everest, struggle, dignity, commercial mountaineering, tragedy, recognition, Three Words: Gripping, Enlightening, Tragic


"Sherpa: Trouble on Everest" is a potent documentary directed by Jennifer Peedom and released in 2016. It examines the escalating tensions between foreign climbers and the Sherpas, the native guides who risk their lives to lead expeditions to the summit of Mount Everest. In the backdrop of a rapidly changing world, the documentary takes us through the Sherpa community's struggle for recognition, respect, and fair treatment.


The documentary captures the 2014 Everest climbing season from the Sherpas' perspective. However, the narrative takes a tragic turn when a 14,000-ton block of ice crashes onto the climbing route, killing 16 Sherpas in the deadliest incident in Everest's history. This disaster ignites a profound reevaluation of the Sherpas' role in Everest expeditions and their fight for better working conditions.

More Film Analysis


Peedom's documentary adopts an observational approach, providing an immersive experience of the Sherpas' lived realities. The in-depth research and exploration of the subject matter offer a unique insight into the socio-economic dynamics at play on Everest.

Historical and Factual Context

Understanding the historical relations between foreign climbers and Sherpas, the cultural significance of Everest (Chomolungma) to the Sherpa community, and the dynamics of the commercial mountaineering industry adds depth to the documentary's narrative.

Key themes in the film

• The struggle for dignity and recognition
• The impact of commercialization on traditional cultures
• The discrepancies between risk and reward in the Everest industry

Film Comparisons

While other films like "Everest" (2015) focus on the climbers' narratives, "Sherpa: Trouble on Everest" provides a unique perspective by centering the Sherpas' experiences and struggles.

Noteworthy Moments

The disaster of April 18, 2014, that claimed 16 Sherpa lives is a turning point in the narrative, highlighting the dangers they face and triggering a reevaluation of their role in Everest expeditions.


The film has been lauded for its in-depth exploration of the Sherpa community's struggles and the socio-economic dynamics of commercial mountaineering.


"Sherpa: Trouble on Everest" is a must-watch for those interested in understanding the often-overlooked narratives of Sherpa guides on Everest. It offers a captivating insight into their struggle for dignity, fair treatment, and recognition.

More film information:


• Genre: Documentary



• Sherpa community - The indigenous people of the Everest region, working as guides and climbers.
• Foreign climbers - Individuals from around the world who attempt to climb Everest.



• Mount Everest - The highest mountain in the world, located in the Himalayas.
• Khumbu Icefall - A perilous section of the Everest climbing route.

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  1. How can the safety and fair treatment of Sherpas be ensured in the Everest industry?
  2. How has commercialization affected the traditional Sherpa culture?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be "Into Thin Air" - Both delve into the harsh realities of Everest expeditions.
  2. A famous song, it would be "Under Pressure" - Reflecting the pressure and dangers Sherpas face.
  3. A famous piece of art, it would be "The Scream" - Symbolizing the silent despair and struggle of the Sherpas.
  4. A famous celebrity, it would be Malala Yousafzai - Both represent the fight for dignity and justice in the face of adversity.
  5. A colour, it would be blue - Symbolizing the cold, harsh realities of Everest.
  6. A music style, it would be blues - Reflecting the struggle and despair within the Sherpa community.

Watch Sherpa: Trouble on Everest - Streaming Online | iwonder (Free Trial)
On 18th April, 2014, a 14-million-ton block of ice crashed down onto the climbing route through the Khumbu Icefall, killing 16 Sherpas. One of the worst tragedies in the history of Everest, it provoked a drastic reappraisal about the role of the Sherpas in the Everest industry. This film tells the s…